Heart Wood by Tino Rawnsley

Heart Wood is a little book written by one of Tree by Tree’s founders Tino Rawnsley. It is a collection of poetry and prose on his observations and considerations on nature and our place within it. It is beautifully illustrated throughout with original works by friends and family.

Printed on 100% recycled paper this is a limited print run of 200 copies.

Order your copy today by emailing info@treebytree.org.

£6.50 including postage.
Proceeds go to Tree by Tree.

‘We are all made of stories.

Sometimes people live their lives through without anyone being aware of the mind or heart that made them tick, what motivated them, inspired them, saddened them or made them happy.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, an untreatable, life shortening condition which has shifted my perspective. I am a woodworker. Making things has figured prominently in my life so, as I lost the use of my arms, I needed something ti fill the void previously inhabited by craft.

I started putting down random thoughts and experiences. My children read them and said “Dad, you should write a book”. In truth, I was over faced by the prospect of such a task but was inspired by The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono. If my words could be illuminated by wonderful pictures, it might just be possible. The idea of Heart Wood took shape.’

from Introduction to Heart Wood by T.R.

“It is a gem, really I love it. The content is of the utmost seriousness and you putting it on paper gives us an opportunity to show it to others knowing that it can transform peoples lives . Especially young people.”

Charles Irving

“Just finished Heart Wood, then had to go and sit under a tree and read it again. Not always comfortable reading, which is only right, but a very beautiful reminder of what we’re all trying to do and why.”

Jacob Stroud

Story of a Tree

A winged seed given freedom by the flowing wind, 
whirls down from an Ash tree one autumn, 
slicing a helix through the insect peopled shafts of golden light 
to nestle amongst the herbs and leaf mould of the woodland floor.
It is a good fall and the mice miss this concentrated morsel.
A horse working in the wood treads the seed firmly
into the rain-moistened earth.
Through the winter, tiny and enfolded she sleeps.

Come spring she pushes a root down into the welcoming soil 
and reaches up towards the sun.
At first, thin as a whip, she spreads her light absorbent leaflets 
in a stratus of sub-lime green canopy.
Her gentle, probing, filigree roots tap, soil deep,
down into the powerful matrix of life that makes up the earth. 
Like cables to the power source she is ‘plugged in’.

The wheel of years turn and skinny whip becomes slender sapling.
Fortunate to be undisturbed,
with the strength and resilience of her kind 
she is nursed by her mother and the family of trees around her.
Suckled by the milk of rain made rich by webs of mycelium,
through shade and shelter she reaches up tall towards the light.
Wind teaches her tenacity and flexibility.
In twenty years she is a smooth barked beauty,
sinuous and clean limbed.

One winter comes a man
and, seeing her so tall and graceful falls a little in love.
But, not recognising it,
he fells her with keen blows of his axe and whistling saw.
With a heavy sigh she falls,
her bright heartwood laid open and pinking to the air.

The man, a maker,
with forms in his mind and tools of hard steel in his hands
reduces her to parts. 
Taking that slender form, with her own good nature, he cleaves her.
Platinum fibres parting,
the eau-du-nile of her inner bark shearing cleanly from his blade.
He has her strong and resilient body to work his trade, 
and to warm his family and cook his food by. 
bright and consuming fire.

But in the wood her sleeping heart still beats
its strong slow pulse in the protective earth.
Come spring, she reaches out, changed but renewed. 
This time, ten young arms, clean and tender skinned,
stretch and unfurl their foliage 
past the greying stump of their mother, sister, self.